Inle Lake farmer’s market
I love this town and in retrospect I could have stayed here a day or two longer than on our schedule.
Driving into town there was a new toll. In the land of toll gates, Nyaung Shwe, gate way to Inle Lake has figured out a way to make extra revenue on the tourists by asking a 10 dollars to enter the gateway to Inle lake. Then take care as the pass is only good for a week! They collect your passport numbers hand you a receipt that you will need to come and to go.
Bikes rule in this city and it is the way to get around the town.
Many places offer wifi services if they are catering to a European taste or standards. The French Touch offered a free movie with the meal and wifi services as the owner just finished his first feature film, a script he wrote about a novice monks path to enlightenment. Even without the free movie – being a sucker for the color orange – I was drawn to the place just based on the decor. The food was good and Roy was thrilled because they had an ice cream case filled with options.
There was a lot of beautiful things about Nyaung Shwe, and the lake which is known for fisherman who paddle the shallow lake with one leg. We went by so quickly that I didn’t really see how they juggle the boat and the nets with one leg on the boat and the other on a paddle. Inle Lake water levels are down as the rains have decreased. I think the boatman said that 75,000 people live around the lake which has dropped at least a meter in the last decade. So more people are living on less water.
The farmer’s market floats around, moving from village to village and it is a meeting place for many different cultural groups in the area. The market is sectioned off by category… meat, fish, dried, fresh, fabric. Our boatman said that the villagers all used to arrive at the marketplace by oxen or on foot. Then a company in China came and flooded the market with cheap motorcycles and that seemed the choice way to get around – other than the boats. The lake culture contains many different groups, too many for our quick visit to really comprehend. Everyone was nice, it was crazy busy noisy but interesting to see how people live – their food!
I loved this place but it was too much for my uncle who was grossed out by the open air quality of the goods and all the flies and dust co-exist with all the food. I could have lingered over each section to see the cool way the vegetables are presented or to see the outfits of the sellers could keep my interest all day long. Heck just checking out the headware was overwhelming as there were so many different clues to culture that went over my head so to speak!